Everton’s horrors on the road will be put to the test once more when Sam Allardyce’s men travel to the Bet365 Stadium.
Only West Brom, who sit at the foot of the table eight points adrift of safety, have a worse away record than the Blues who have picked up just eight points away from Goodison.
Stoke are 19th in the division, but are only a point behind Southampton in 17th prior to kick off, so a win would be massive for Paul Lambert’s troops. But they are winless in six, dating back to January 20 when they downed Huddersfield 2-0 at home.
Only West Ham have conceded more than the 56 the Potters have shipped in the league this campaign but are in possession of the worst goal difference after 30 fixtures.
In the last six meetings between the two, Everton have picked up three wins compared to Stoke’s two with the other a 1-1 draw.
But this season’s opener, which saw Wayne Rooney score on his second Premier League debut for Everton in a 1-0 win over Saturday’s opponents, should give the away side confidence. Even though the Blues are yet to complete a double this term.
One to watch
Xherdan Shaqiri is the Potters’ leading goal scorer this season with seven, three of them have come in his last five appearances. The tricky Swiss winger was the thorn in Everton’s side in back in 2015, when he scored two in Stoke’s 4-3 victory at the Grand Old Lady.
Shaqiri will fancy his chances of upping that tally against Everton’s tender backline that has let in 49 league goals.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
The hosts welcome Saido Berahino back to first team affairs after an injury layoff, the 24-year-old recently passed the two-year mark since his last goal, but as history has shown on multiple occasions, Everton are the best side to face when it comes to a goal drought.
Mame Diouf is in contention for a return after he missed out on Monday’s 2-0 loss to champions elect Manchester City.
The visitors will be without Gylfi Sigurdsson after he suffered knee ligament damage against Brighton.
Theo Walcott is expected to be fit after he suffered cramp and Idrissa Gueye could return following an illness. Ashley Williams is serving the second of a three game suspension.
Man in the middle –
Martin Atkinson will take charge of the whistle this weekend, he was referee in Everton’s only away win this campaign at St. James’ Park. In the 26 games Atkinson has officiated, he has distributed 87 yellows and four reds.